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dunwitch
2005-Jul-29, 07:10 PM
Just read the duck incident - where UFO's became IFO's - and would like to share my own. I was up at 3:00 AM in a wooded area when a wedge-shaped formation of bright objects came into view. I was mystified. They were moving fast, but then they suddenly stopped, seemed to hover for a minute, altered their positions, then reversed direction at a good speed in a straight line formation. I couldn't believe my eyes; it was a classic "UFO" sighting. But just before the objects disappeared behind a hill upwind from me, everything changed. I heard a faint sound, barely carried to me on the wind. A low, continuous, whistling, buzzing sound. Being a waterfowl hunter, I immediately recognized it as the sound made by the wings of a flock of swans. I realized what I had seen. The birds were very high, and it was dark, so their details couldn't be seen; they were just whitish blobs in the moonlight. They appeared to hover because the whole flock had turned away from me and was flying straight away before turning again (no apparent motion from my perspective). The effect was remarkable; they certainly didn't look like birds. If it weren't for the fact that I know what a whistling swan sounds like when it flies, and the direction of the wind happened to be right, I probably would still be wondering what they were.

The other similar phenomenon I have observed is the motion of very distant, high altitude flocks of white pelicans wheeling; they seem to flash on and off as the white and black portions of their body are alternately turned toward the viewer. I've been stumped for half an hour by these displays, until one time the flock got close enough to see their shapes. Often the whole flock moves in synchrony, so a group of 20-30 "lights" flash on and off repeatedly, or appear as if they are a single, connected object, moving very slowly.

Just wanted to share my own UFO/waterfowl observations. I think people who are unfamiliar with what white waterfowl look and sound like at night make this mistake often. Especially since some of these waterfowl are quite rare, but can show up almost anywhere during their migrations. Since waterfowl migrations are tracked pretty rigorously by the Federal Wildlife agencies, maybe somebody should see how well the migrations coincide with UFO observations over time.

The Bad Astronomer
2005-Jul-31, 09:55 PM
I think flocks of birds account for a lot of UFO sightings. I also think mylar balloons do as well; I've seen plenty of videos where it's clearly a balloon (and you can even get the weird optical effects of a dark spot due to the way the video camera detector saturates as well).

JohnD
2005-Oct-04, 10:12 PM
Other balloons as well.

Once walking in the evening, I saw a light overhead that moved against the stars, faster than a satellite. I watched it approach the horizon and descend below - to this side of it. Noting the hills beyond, I searched the next day along this bearing, and found a paper hot air balloon, with a wire framework that held the small slow burning firework that had kept it aloft.

John

Rue
2006-Sep-08, 06:51 PM
The other similar phenomenon I have observed is the motion of very distant, high altitude flocks of white pelicans wheeling; they seem to flash on and off as the white and black portions of their body are alternately turned toward the viewer. I've been stumped for half an hour by these displays, until one time the flock got close enough to see their shapes. Often the whole flock moves in synchrony, so a group of 20-30 "lights" flash on and off repeatedly, or appear as if they are a single, connected object, moving very slowly.


This is exactly what some believe that Kenneth Arnold saw in his infamous UFO sighting. He also described a flashing.